Title:
Quick-connect/disconnect guardrail scaffolding system and method
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A quick-connect/disconnect guardrail scaffolding system includes a first scaffold guardrail having a first forked clasp, a second scaffold guardrail having a second forked clasp, and a third scaffold guardrail pivotally coupled to the first scaffold guardrail and releasably coupled to the second scaffold guardrail. A quick-connect/disconnect guardrail scaffolding system includes a scaffold platform and a scaffold guardrail releasably coupled thereto. They cooperate to constrain horizontal separation, constrain vertical separation, constrain relative pivoting in a first direction about a generally horizontal axis, and permit relative pivoting in a second direction about the axis. A quick-connect/disconnect guardrail scaffolding method includes removably engaging a forked clasp of a scaffold guardrail with a flange of a scaffold platform; abutting a generally planar surface of the scaffold guardrail with a generally planar surface of the scaffold platform concurrently with the removable engagement; and releasably coupling the scaffold guardrail to a second scaffold guardrail.



Inventors:
Cosgrove, Jeffrey R. (Zionsville, IN, US)
Application Number:
11/443626
Publication Date:
12/06/2007
Filing Date:
05/31/2006
Assignee:
Sonny Scaffolds, Inc. (Indianapolis, IN, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04G3/32
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CAHN, DANIEL P
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MAGINOT, MOORE & BECK, LLP (INDIANAPOLIS, IN, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A guardrail scaffolding system, comprising: a first scaffold guardrail including a first forked clasp; a second scaffold guardrail including a second forked clasp; and a third scaffold guardrail pivotally coupled to the first scaffold guardrail and releasably coupled to the second scaffold guardrail.

2. The system of claim 1, further comprising: a fourth scaffold guardrail pivotally coupled to the second scaffold guardrail and releasably coupled to the first scaffold guardrail.

3. The system of claim 1, further comprising: a first pin releasably coupling the third scaffold guardrail to the second scaffold guardrail.

4. The system of claim 1, wherein the first forked clasp includes a plurality of tabs.

5. The system of claim 4, wherein the plurality of tabs includes a first tab having a first generally planar surface, the plurality of tabs further includes a second tab having a second generally planar surface, and the first generally planar surface is generally coplanar to the second generally planar surface.

6. The system of claim 5, wherein the plurality of tabs includes a third tab having a third generally planar surface spaced apart from and about parallel to the first generally planar surface and the second generally planar surface.

7. The system of claim 6, further comprising: a fourth scaffold guardrail pivotally coupled to the second scaffold guardrail and releasably coupled to the first scaffold guardrail; a first pin releasably coupling the third scaffold guardrail to the second scaffold guardrail; and a second pin releasably coupling the fourth scaffold guardrail to the first scaffold guardrail.

8. The system of claim 1, further comprising: a scaffold platform including a first flange removably extending into the first forked clasp.

9. The system of claim 8, wherein the scaffold platform defines a generally rectilinear generally G cross-sectionally shaped channel and the clasp extends into the channel.

10. The system of claim 9, wherein the channel includes a first wall, a second wall about parallel to the first wall, a third wall extending between the first wall and the second wall, generally perpendicular to the first wall, and generally perpendicular to the second wall, and a fourth wall extending generally perpendicularly from the second wall toward the first wall yet spaced apart from the first wall.

11. The system of claim 10, wherein the clasp includes a tab abutting the fourth wall of the channel.

12. The system of claim 9, wherein the scaffold platform further includes a first generally planar surface and the first scaffold guardrail further includes a first arm portion extending from the first forked clasp into abutment with the first generally planar surface.

13. The system of claim 12, wherein the first arm portion is generally L-shaped.

14. The system of claim 12, wherein the scaffold platform further includes a second flange removably extending into the second forked clasp, the scaffold platform further includes a second generally planar surface, and the second scaffold guardrail further includes a second arm portion extending from the second forked clasp into abutment with the second generally planar surface.

15. The system of claim 14, wherein: the first arm portion is generally L-shaped, and the second arm portion is generally L-shaped, and the first forked clasp includes a plurality of tabs.

16. The system of claim 15, wherein the plurality of tabs includes a first tab having a first generally planar surface, the plurality of tabs further includes a second tab having a second generally planar surface, and the first generally planar surface is generally coplanar to the second generally planar surface.

17. The system of claim 16, wherein the plurality of tabs includes a third tab having a third generally planar surface spaced apart from and about parallel to the first generally planar surface and the second generally planar surface.

18. The system of claim 17, further comprising: a fourth scaffold guardrail pivotally coupled to the second scaffold guardrail and releasably coupled to the first scaffold guardrail.

19. The system of claim 18, further comprising: a first pin releasably coupling the third scaffold guardrail to the second scaffold guardrail; and a second pin releasably coupling the fourth scaffold guardrail to the first scaffold guardrail.

20. A guardrail scaffolding system, comprising: a scaffold platform; and a first scaffold guardrail releasably coupled to the scaffold platform; wherein the first scaffold guardrail cooperates with the scaffold platform to constrain horizontal separation of the first scaffold guardrail from the scaffold platform, to constrain vertical separation of the first scaffold guardrail from the scaffold platform, to constrain pivoting of the first scaffold guardrail relative to the scaffold platform in a first direction about a generally horizontal first axis, and to permit pivoting of the first scaffold guardrail relative to the scaffold platform in a second direction about the first axis.

21. The system of claim 20, further comprising: a second scaffold guardrail releasably coupled to the scaffold platform and releasably coupled to the first scaffold guardrail; wherein the second scaffold guardrail cooperates with the scaffold platform to constrain horizontal separation of the second scaffold guardrail from the scaffold platform, to constrain vertical separation of the second scaffold guardrail from the scaffold platform, to constrain pivoting of the second scaffold guardrail relative to the scaffold platform in a first direction about a generally horizontal second axis, and to permit pivoting of the second scaffold guardrail relative to the scaffold platform in a second direction about the second axis; and wherein the second scaffold cooperates with the first scaffold guardrail to constrain pivoting of the first scaffold guardrail relative to the scaffold platform in the second direction about the first axis, and to constrain pivoting of the second scaffold guardrail relative to the scaffold platform in the second direction about the second axis.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD OF THE DISCLOSURE

The present disclosure relates generally to scaffolding, and, more particularly, to a quick-connect/disconnect guardrail scaffolding system and method.

BACKGROUND

In general, scaffolding is designed to provide one or more temporary and/or movable platforms on which one or more workers may stand, sit, lay, or otherwise perch at one or more heights above a floor or above the ground.

A good deal of substantially prefabricated modular scaffolding has been developed such that many scaffolding parts and/or subassemblies (including guardrails) are conventionally mass produced from steel and/or other sturdy and durable materials that can be quickly and repeatedly transported to worksites, assembled, used, disassembled, moved, re-assembled, and reused. Modular designs provide increased scaffolding reliabilities and reduced on site set up and teardown times.

Nevertheless, there is still room for improvement to many modular scaffolding designs. In many cases erecting and securing the scaffolding guardrails requires undesirably complex and time consuming positioning of the guardrails, undesirably complex and time consuming tightening of bolts or the like with one or more wrenches and/or other tools, and/or undesirably complex and time consuming actuation of levers and/or other locking mechanisms.

SUMMARY OF THE DISCLOSURE

The present disclosure describes a quick-connect/disconnect guardrail scaffolding system including a first scaffold guardrail. The first scaffold guardrail includes a first forked clasp. The system further includes a second scaffold guardrail. The second scaffold guardrail includes a second forked clasp. The system further includes a third scaffold guardrail pivotally coupled to the first scaffold guardrail and releasably coupled to the second scaffold guardrail.

The present disclosure describes a quick-connect/disconnect guardrail scaffolding system including a scaffold platform. The system further includes a first scaffold guardrail releasably coupled to the scaffold platform. The first scaffold guardrail cooperates with the scaffold platform to constrain horizontal separation of the first scaffold guardrail from the scaffold platform, to constrain vertical separation of the first scaffold guardrail from the scaffold platform, to constrain pivoting of the first scaffold guardrail relative to the scaffold platform in a first direction about a generally horizontal first axis, and to permit pivoting of the first scaffold guardrail relative to the scaffold platform in a second direction about the first axis.

The present disclosure describes a quick-connect/disconnect guardrail scaffolding method including the steps of removably engaging a forked clasp of a first scaffold guardrail with a flange of a scaffold platform, abutting a generally planar surface of the first scaffold guardrail with a generally planar surface of the scaffold platform concurrently with the step of removably engaging the clasp with the flange, and releasably coupling the first scaffold guardrail to a second scaffold guardrail.

The present disclosure describes a quick-connect/disconnect guardrail scaffolding method including the steps of releasably coupling a first scaffold guardrail to a scaffold platform, and cooperating the first scaffold guardrail with the scaffold platform to constrain horizontal separation of the first scaffold guardrail from the scaffold platform, to constrain vertical separation of the first scaffold guardrail from the scaffold platform, to constrain pivoting of the first scaffold guardrail relative to the scaffold platform in a first direction about a generally horizontal first axis, and to permit pivoting of the first scaffold guardrail relative to the scaffold platform in a second direction about the first axis.

The above-noted features and advantages of the present disclosure, as well as additional features and advantages, may be readily ascertained by those of ordinary skill in the art by upon reference to the following detailed description and the accompanying drawings, which include a disclosure of the best mode of making and using the guardrail scaffolding system presently contemplated.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIGS. 1A and 1B each shows a perspective view of an exemplary scaffold according to the disclosure (FIGS. 1A and 1B differ only in reference numeral labeling);

FIG. 2 shows a side plan view of the scaffold of FIG. 1A;

FIG. 3 shows an end plan view of the scaffold of FIG. 1A;

FIG. 4 shows a top plan view of the scaffold of FIG. 1A with its end guardrails pivoted inward;

FIG. 5 shows an enlarged cross-sectional view of a portion of one of the posts of the scaffold of FIG. 1A, a correspondingly enlarged cross-sectional view of one of the fasteners of one of the side guardrails of the scaffold of FIG. 1A, and a correspondingly enlarged cross-sectional view of one of the side panels of the platform of the scaffold of FIG. 1A—taken along line 5-5 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 6 shows an enlarged plan view of one of the fasteners of the exemplary scaffold of FIG. 1A—from the perspective of directional line 6-6 of FIG.5;

FIGS. 7-9 show fragmentary perspective views of one of the fasteners of the exemplary scaffold of FIG. 1A and one of the panels of the exemplary scaffold of FIG. 1A at various relative positions during a quick-connect operation;

FIG. 10 shows a fragmentary perspective view of a catch of one of the gaurdrails of the exemplary scaffold of FIG. 1A releasably coupled to a spring-loaded coupling pin of another one of the guardrails of the exemplary scaffold of FIG. 1A.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EXEMPLARY EMBODIMENT(S)

Like reference numerals refer to like parts throughout the following description and the accompanying drawings.

FIGS. 1A and 1A shows a perspective view of an exemplary scaffold 100 according to the present disclosure. Scaffold 100 is configured to, among other things, support one or more workers at a height above a floor or above the ground as discussed further below. It is noted that scaffold 100 is merely exemplary, and alternative embodiments will fall within the scope and spirit of the disclosure.

Scaffold 100 includes a side guardrail 110. Guardrail 110 is configured to, among other things, releasably couple to one or more mating parts of scaffold 100. Guardrail 110 includes an elongated substantially tubular top rail 120 having a diameter 130 and a length 140, an elongated substantially tubular post 150 extending generally perpendicularly from one end of rail 120 and having a diameter 160 about equal to diameter 130 and further having a length 170, and an elongated substantially tubular post 180 extending generally perpendicularly from an opposing end of rail 120 and about parallel and substantially coplanar to post 150. Post 180 has a diameter 190 about equal to diameter 130 and has a length 200 about equal to length 170. In the exemplary embodiment rail 120, post 150, and post 180 are made from a single piece of suitably bent tubular steel. In alternative embodiments rail 120, post 150, and post 180 may be made from suitable metal(s), or any other suitable material(s), and may be made from a single piece or common stock of the material(s) or may be suitably joined discrete components.

Guardrail 110 further includes a fastener 210 made from, for example, steel and welded or otherwise suitably fixed to an end of post 150 distal to rail 120. Fastener 210 is configured to, among other things, releasably couple to one or more mating parts of scaffold 100 as discussed further below.

Guardrail 110 further includes a fastener 220 made from, for example, steel and welded or otherwise suitably fixed to an end of post 180 distal to rail 120. Fastener 220 is configured like and operates like fastener 210, which is discussed further below.

Guardrail 110 further includes a spring-loaded coupling pin 230 made from steel or any other suitable material(s). Pin 230 is configured to, among other things, releasably couple to one or more mating parts of scaffold 100 as discussed further below. Pin 230 extends generally perpendicularly from post 150 and is spaced apart from rail 120 by a distance 240 about forty-five percent as large as length 170.

Scaffold 100 also includes an end guardrail 310. Guardrail 310 is configured to, among other things, releasably couple to one or more mating parts of scaffold 100, and facilitate ingress and egress to scaffold 100 when so connected as discussed further below. Guardrail 310 includes an elongated substantially tubular top rail 320 having a diameter 330 about equal to diameter 130 and a length 340 about half as large as length 140, an elongated substantially tubular post 350 extending generally perpendicularly from one end of rail 320 and having a diameter 360 about equal to diameter 330 and further having a length 370 about equal to length 170, and an elongated substantially tubular post 380 extending generally perpendicularly from an opposing end of rail 320 and about parallel and substantially coplanar to post 350. Post 380 has a diameter 390 about equal to diameter 330 and has a length 400 about equal to length 370. In the exemplary embodiment rail 320, post 350, and post 380 are made from a single piece of suitably bent tubular steel. In alternative embodiments rail 320, post 350, and post 380 may be made from suitable metal(s), or any other suitable material(s), and may be made from a single piece or common stock of the material(s) or may be suitably joined discrete components.

Guardrail 310 further includes a catch 410 made from steel or any other suitable material(s). Catch 410 is configured to, among other things, releasably couple to a spring-loaded coupling pin configured in a like manner as pin 230. Catch 410 is spaced apart from rail 120 by a distance 420 about forty-five percent as large as length 170.

Scaffold 100 also includes an upper hinge 510 made from steel or any other suitable material(s). Hinge 510 is configured to, among other things, pivotally couple post 180 to post 350. Hinge 510 includes an elongated substantially tubular coupling 520 having an inner diameter slightly larger than diameter 160 and further having a length about one eighth as large as length 170. Hinge 510 further includes an elongated substantially tubular coupling 550 having an inner diameter slightly larger than diameter 360 and having a length 570 about one eighth as large as length 170. Coupling 550 is positioned adjacent to and pivotally coupled to coupling 520, coupling 520 is sleeved over and welded or otherwise suitably fixed to post 180, and coupling 550 is sleeved over and welded or otherwise suitably fixed to post 350 such that post 180 is about parallel to post 350, such that rail 120 and rail 320 are substantially coplanar, such that coupling 550 is spaced apart from rail 320 by a distance 580 (see FIG. 2 and FIG. 3) about twenty percent as large as length 170, such that coupling 520 is spaced apart from rail 120 by a distance about equal to distance 580 (see FIG. 2 and FIG. 3), and such that guardrail 110 and guardrail 310 are pivotally coupled about an axis 600 that is about parallel to post 180 (i.e., about parallel to length 200) and about parallel to post 350 (i.e., about parallel to length 370).

Guardrail 110 further includes an elongated substantially tubular mid-rail 610 made from steel or any other suitable material(s). Mid-rail 610 is configured to extend between post 150 and post 180. Mid-rail 610 has a diameter 620 about equal to diameter 130 and has a length 630 about equal to length 140. Opposing ends of mid-rail 610 are welded or otherwise suitably fixed to post 150 and post 180, respectively, such that mid-rail 610 extends between post 150 and post 180, such that mid-rail 610 is about parallel to rail 120, and such that mid-rail 610 is spaced apart from rail 120 by a distance 640 about half as large as length 170.

Guardrail 310 further includes an elongated substantially tubular mid-rail 710 made from steel or any other suitable material(s). Mid-rail 710 is configured to extend between post 350 and post 380. Mid-rail 710 has a diameter 720 about equal to diameter 330 and has a length about equal to length 340. Opposing ends of mid-rail 710 are welded or otherwise suitably fixed to post 350 and post 380, respectively, such that mid-rail 710 extends between post 350 and post 380, such that mid-rail 710 is about parallel to rail 320, and such that mid-rail 710 is spaced apart from rail 320 by a distance about equal to distance 640.

Scaffold 100 also includes a lower hinge 810 made from steel or any other suitable material(s). Hinge 810 is configured to, among other things, further pivotally couple post 180 to post 350. Hinge 810 includes an elongated substantially tubular coupling 820 having an inner diameter slightly larger than diameter 160 and further having a length about one eighth as large as length 170. Hinge 810 further includes an elongated substantially tubular coupling 850 having an inner diameter slightly larger than diameter 360 and having a length about one eighth as large as length 170. Coupling 850 is positioned adjacent to and pivotally coupled to coupling 820, coupling 820 is sleeved over and welded or otherwise suitably fixed to post 180, and coupling 850 is sleeved over and welded or otherwise suitably fixed to post 350 such that post 180 remains about parallel to post 350, such that rail 120 and rail 320 remain substantially coplanar, such that coupling 850 is spaced apart from rail 320 by a distance 880 (see FIG. 2 and FIG. 3) about eighty percent as large as length 170, such that coupling 820 is spaced apart from rail 120 by a distance about equal to distance 880 (see FIG. 2 and FIG. 3), and such that guardrail 110 and guardrail 310 are further pivotally coupled about axis 600.

Guardrail 110 further includes an elongated generally rectilinear toeboard 910 made from steel or any other suitable material(s). Toeboard 910 is configured to extend between post 150 and post 180. Toeboard 910 has a height 920 about one eighth as large as length 170, has a length 930 about equal to length 140, and has a width less than the smaller of diameter 160 and diameter 190. Opposing ends of toeboard 910 are welded or otherwise suitably fixed to post 150 and post 180, respectively, such that toeboard 910 extends between post 150 and post 180, such that toeboard 910 is about parallel to rail 120, and such that toeboard 910 is spaced apart from rail 120 by a distance 950 about seven eighths as large as length 170.

Guardrail 310 further includes an elongated generally rectilinear toeboard 1010 made from steel or any other suitable material(s). Toeboard 1010 is configured to extend between post 350 and post 380. Toeboard 1010 has a height 1020 (see FIG. 3) about one eighth as large as length 370, has a length 1030 (see FIG. 3) about equal to length 340, and has a width less than the smaller of diameter 360 and diameter 390. Opposing ends of toeboard 1010 are welded or otherwise suitably fixed to post 350 and post 380, respectively, such that toeboard 1010 extends between post 350 and post 380, such that toeboard 1010 is about parallel to rail 320, and such that toeboard 1010 is spaced apart from rail 320 by a distance about equal to distance 950.

Scaffold 100 also includes a platform 1110. Platform 1110 is configured to, among other things, support one or more workers and releasably couple to one or more mating parts of scaffold 100 as discussed further below.

Platform 1110 includes a conventional floorboard 1120 made from wood or any other suitable material.

Platform 1110 further includes a truss 1130 that supports floorboard 1120. Truss 1130 includes an elongated generally rectilinear end panel 1140 (see FIG. 4) made from steel or any other suitable material(s).

Truss 1130 further includes an elongated generally rectilinear side panel 1150 made from steel or any other suitable material(s). Panel 1150 is welded or otherwise suitably connected to one end of panel 1140 and extends generally perpendicularly from that end of panel 1140. Panel 1150 defines an elongated generally rectilinear three-sided slot or channel 1160 (see FIG. 5) for slidably receiving one side of floorboard 1120, and panel 1150 defines an elongated generally rectilinear five-sided slot or channel 1170 (see also FIG. 5) for releasably receiving fastener 210 and fastener 220. Panel 1150 is discussed further below.

Truss 1130 further includes an elongated generally rectilinear side panel 1180 (see FIG. 4) made from steel or any other suitable material(s). Panel 1180 is welded or otherwise suitably connected to the other end of panel 1140 (i.e., the end laterally opposing the end that is connected to panel 1150) and extends generally perpendicularly from that end of panel 1140. Panel 1180 is configured like a laterally complementary or mirrored panel 1150 (e.g., similarly to the manner in which a left hand complements or mirrors a right hand when the left hand holds the left side of a book and the right hand similarly but laterally opposingly holds the right side of the book). Accordingly, panel 1180 defines an elongated generally rectilinear three-sided slot or channel (configured like a mirrored channel 1160) for slidably receiving the other side of floorboard 1120 (i.e., the side laterally opposed to panel 1150), and panel 1180 defines an elongated generally rectilinear five-sided slot or channel (configured like a mirrored channel 1170) for releasably receiving a fastener configured like fastener 210 and a fastener configured like fastener 220.

Truss 1130 further includes an elongated generally rectilinear three-sided sleeve-like support member 1210 made from steel or any other suitable material(s). Member 1210 defines an elongated generally rectilinear three-sided slot or channel 1220, and is welded or otherwise suitably connected to an end of panel 1150 proximal to panel 1140 such that channel 1220 extends generally vertically downwardly from that end of panel 1150.

Truss 1130 further includes a spring-loaded pin assembly 1230 configured and connected to member 1210 such that the pin of assembly 1230 is spring-biased (i.e., “normally” extended) into channel 1220 while being manually retractable (against the spring load) from channel 1220.

Truss 1130 further includes a generally straight bar or bracket 1240 made from steel or any other suitable material(s). Bracket 1240 is welded to or otherwise suitably connected to an end of member 1210 distal to panel 1150, and extends, at an angle 1250 relative to member 1210 of about 45 degrees, from that end of member 1210 to an underside of panel 1150.

Truss 1130 further includes an elongated generally rectilinear three-sided sleeve-like support member 1260 made from steel or any other suitable material(s). Member 1260 defines an elongated generally rectilinear three-sided slot or channel 1270, and is welded or otherwise suitably connected to an end of panel 1180 proximal to panel 1140 (laterally opposing member 1210) such that channel 1270 extends generally vertically downwardly from that end of panel 1180.

Truss 1130 further includes a spring-loaded pin assembly 1280 configured and connected to member 1260 such that the pin of assembly 1280 is spring-biased (i.e., “normally” extended) into channel 1270 while being manually retractable (against the spring load) from channel 1270.

Truss 1130 further includes a generally straight bar or bracket 1290 made from steel or any other suitable material(s). Bracket 1290 is welded to or otherwise suitably connected to an end of member 1260 distal to panel 1180, and extends, at an angle 1300 relative to member 1260 of about 45 degrees, from that end of member 1260 to an underside of panel 1180.

Truss 1130 further includes an elongated generally rectilinear three-sided sleeve-like support member 1310 made from steel or any other suitable material(s). Member 1310 defines an elongated generally rectilinear three-sided slot or channel 1320, and is welded or otherwise suitably connected to the end of panel 1150 distal to panel 1140 (i.e., in opposition to member 1210) such that channel 1320 extends generally vertically downwardly from that end of panel 1150.

Truss 1130 further includes a spring-loaded pin assembly 1330 configured and connected to member 1310 such that the pin of assembly 1330 is spring-biased (i.e., “normally” extended) into channel 1320 while being manually retractable (against the spring load) from channel 1320.

Truss 1130 further includes a generally straight bar or bracket 1340 made from steel or any other suitable material(s). Bracket 1340 is welded to or otherwise suitably connected to an end of member 1310 distal to panel 1150, and extends, at an angle 1350 relative to member 1310 of about 45 degrees, from that end of member 1310 to an underside of panel 1150.

Truss 1130 further includes an elongated generally rectilinear three-sided sleeve-like support member 1360 made from steel or any other suitable material(s). Member 1360 defines an elongated generally rectilinear three-sided slot or channel 1370, and is welded or otherwise suitably connected to an end of panel 1180 distal to panel 1140 (laterally opposing member 1310) such that channel 1370 extends generally vertically downwardly from that end of panel 1180.

Truss 1130 further includes a spring-loaded pin assembly 1380 configured and connected to member 1360 such that the pin of assembly 1380 is spring-biased (i.e., “normally” extended) into channel 1370 while being manually retractable (against the spring load) from channel 1370.

Truss 1130 further includes a generally straight bar or bracket 1390 made from steel or any other suitable material(s). Bracket 1390 is welded to or otherwise suitably connected to an end of member 1360 distal to panel 1180, and extends, at an angle 1400 relative to member 1360 of about 45 degrees, from that end of member 1360 to an underside of panel 1180.

Scaffold 100 also includes a ladder 1440. Ladder 1440 is configured to, among other things, support one end of platform 1110 and facilitate ingress and egress to platform 1110.

Ladder 1440 includes an elongated generally rectilinear side rail 1450 made from steel or any other suitable material(s). Rail 1450 includes a side defining a plurality of fairly evenly vertically spaced apart apertures 1460. Further, rail 1450 extends generally vertically through channel 1220 (of member 1210) and the pin of assembly 1230 retractably extends into a desired one of the apertures 1460 to fix the position of truss 1130 along ladder 1440.

Ladder 1440 further includes an elongated generally rectilinear side rail 1470 made from steel or any other suitable material(s). Rail 1470 includes a side defining a plurality of fairly evenly vertically spaced apart apertures 1480. Rail 1470 laterally opposes rail 1450 and extends generally vertically through channel 1270 (of member 1260). Additionally, the pin of assembly 1280 retractably extends into a desired one of the apertures 1480 to further fix the position of truss 1130 along ladder 1440.

Ladder 1440 further includes a plurality of generally cylindrical rungs 1490 made from steel or any other suitable material(s). Rungs 1490 include laterally opposing ends that are welded or otherwise suitably connected to rail 1450 and rail 1470, respectively, such that rungs 1490 laterally extend between rail 1450 and rail 1470 and are fairly evenly vertically spaced apart along rail 1450 and rail 1470.

Scaffold 100 also includes a ladder 1540. Ladder 1540 is configured to, among other things, support the other end of platform 1110 (i.e., the end that opposes ladder 1440) and facilitate ingress and egress to platform 1110.

Ladder 1540 includes an elongated generally rectilinear side rail 1550 made from steel or any other suitable material(s). Rail 1550 includes a side defining a plurality of fairly evenly vertically spaced apart apertures 1560. Further, rail 1550 extends generally vertically through channel 1320 (of member 1310) and the pin of assembly 1330 retractably extends into a desired one of the apertures 1560 to fix the position of truss 1130 along ladder 1540.

Ladder 1540 further includes an elongated generally rectilinear side rail 1570 made from steel or any other suitable material(s). Rail 1570 includes a side defining a plurality of fairly evenly vertically spaced apart apertures 1580. Rail 1570 laterally opposes rail 1550 and extends generally vertically through channel 1370 (of member 1360). Additionally, the pin of assembly 1380 retractably extends into a desired one of the apertures 1580 to further fix the position of truss 1130 along ladder 1540.

Ladder 1540 further includes a plurality of generally cylindrical rungs 1590 made from steel or any other suitable material(s). Rungs 1590 include laterally opposing ends that are welded or otherwise suitably connected to rail 1550 and rail 1570, respectively, such that rungs 1590 laterally extend between rail 1550 and rail 1570 and are fairly evenly vertically spaced apart along rail 1550 and rail 1570.

Scaffold 100 also includes a conventional caster 1640 configured and coupled to rail 1450 as known in the art, a conventional caster 1650 configured and coupled to rail 1470 as known in the art, a conventional caster 1660 configured and coupled to rail 1550 as known in the art, and a conventional caster 1670 configured and coupled to rail 1570 as known in the art. Among other things, caster 1640, caster 1650, caster 1660, and caster 1670 provide mobility to scaffold 100 as known.

Scaffold 100 also includes a side guardrail 1710 positioned on panel 1180 and configured like a laterally complementary or mirrored guardrail 110. In the exemplary embodiment guardrail 1710 is made from a single piece of suitably bent tubular steel. In alternative embodiments guardrail 1710 may be made suitable metal(s), or any other suitable material(s), and may be made from a single piece or common stock of the material(s) or may be suitably joined discrete components.

Scaffold 100 also includes an end guardrail 1810 made from steel or any other suitable material(s), and an upper hinge 1910 and a lower hinge 2010 made from steel or any other suitable material(s). Guardrail 1810 is configured like a complementary or mirrored guardrail 310, and is pivotally coupled to guardrail 1710 in a complementary or mirrored manner like guardrail 310 is coupled to guardrail 110. In the exemplary embodiment guardrail 1810 is made from a single piece of suitably bent tubular steel. In alternative embodiments guardrail 1810 may be made from suitable metal(s), or any other suitable material(s), and may be made from a single piece or common stock of the material(s) or may be suitably joined discrete components.

Hinge 1910 and hinge 2010 pivotally couple guardrail 1810 to guardrail 1710 in a complementary or mirrored manner like hinge 510 and hinge 810 pivotally couple guardrail 110 to guardrail 310. Accordingly, hinge 1810 is configured like a complementary or mirrored hinge 510, and hinge 1910 is configured like a complementary or mirrored hinge 810.

FIG. 2 shows a side plan view of scaffold 100. Guardrail 110 (including rail 120, fastener 210, fastener 220, and mid-rail 610), catch 410, hinge 510, distance 580, distance 590, hinge 810, toeboard 910, platform 1110 (including panel 1150), assembly 1230, assembly 1330, ladder 1440, ladder 1540, caster 1640, and caster 1660, among other things, are at least partially discernable in FIG. 2.

FIG. 3 shows an end plan view of scaffold 100. An orientation plane 2020 is identified in FIG. 3 for reference below. Guardrail 310 (including rail 320 and mid-rail 710), hinge 510, distance 580, distance 590, hinge 810, toeboard 1010, height 1020, length 1030, platform 1110 (including floorboard 1120), ladder 1540, caster 1660, and caster 1670, among other things, are also at least partially discernable in FIG. 3.

FIG. 4 shows a top plan view of scaffold 100 with guardrail 310 pivoted inward toward guardrail 110 and with guardrail 1810 pivoted inward toward guardrail 1710. As at least partially discernable in FIG. 4, a pivot angle 2030 between guardrail 310 and guardrail 110 is about zero degrees when guardrail 310 is “fully open” (i.e., when guardrail 310 is pivoted fully toward guardrail 110 for ingress and/or egress to platform 1110) and, conversely, is about 90 degrees when guardrail 310 is “fully closed” (i.e., when guardrail 310 is pivoted generally away from guardrail 110 such that guardrail 310 spans between guardrail 1710 and guardrail 110. Similarly, a pivot angle 2040 between guardrail 1810 and guardrail 1710 is about zero degrees when guardrail 1810 is “fully open” and is about 90 degrees when guardrail 1810 is “fully closed.” Catch 410, hinge 510, floorboard 1120, panel 1140, panel 1150, panel 1180, and hinge 1910, among other things, are also at least partially discernable in FIG. 4.

FIG. 5 shows an enlarged cross-sectional view of a distal portion (distal relative to rail 120) of post 150, a correspondingly enlarged cross-sectional view of fastener 210, and a correspondingly enlarged cross-sectional view of panel 1150—taken along line 5-5 of FIG. 2. As at least partially discernable in FIG. 5, fastener 210 includes a generally L-shaped base portion or arm 2100. Arm 2100 includes a generally planar generally rectilinear top portion 2110 and a generally planar generally rectilinear side portion 2120 extending generally perpendicularly from portion 2110. Fastener 210 further includes a generally planar tab 2130 extending generally straightly from portion 2120, a tab 2140 extending from portion 2120, and a generally planar tab 2150 (see FIG. 6) extending generally straightly from portion 2120 and generally coplanar to tab 2130. Tab 2140 is laterally interposed between tab 2130 and tab 2150, includes a generally planar short portion or minor portion 2160 extending from portion 2120 at an angle 2170 of about 45 degrees, and includes a generally planar long portion or major portion 2180 extending from portion 2160 at an angle 2190 of about 135 degrees such that portion 2180 is generally parallel to the plane of tab 2130 and tab 2150 and such that the plane of portion 2180 and the plane of tab 2130 and tab 2150 are separated by a distance 2200. Portion 2120 and tab 2130 have a combined length 2210. Portion 2120 and tab 2150 have a combined length about equal to length 2210. Portion 2120 and tab 2140 have a combined length 2230 about 6% greater than length 2210. Distance 2200 is about 3% as large as length 2210. Tab 2130, tab 2140, and tab 2150 together define a forked clasp 2240. Fastener 210 further includes a generally planar tab 2250 extending from about the middle of portion 2120 toward portion 2110 at an angle 2260 of about 30 degrees such that a shortest distance 2270 between tab 2250 and portion 2110 is about one-third as large as length 2210 and such that the free end of tab 2250 is spaced apart from portion 2120 by a distance 2280 that is about 15% as large as length 2210.

As also at least partially discernable in FIG. 5, panel 1150 defines three-sided channel 1160 with a generally planar generally rectilinear generally horizontal top surface or ceiling 2300, a generally planar generally rectilinear generally horizontal bottom surface or floor 2310, and a generally planar generally rectilinear generally vertical side surface or sidewall 2320 extending between ceiling 2300 and floor 2310. Sidewall 2320 is sized such that ceiling 2300 and floor 2310 are suitably spaced apart to allow channel 1160 to slidably receive one side of floorboard 1120. Floor 2310 is sized to suitably support that side of floorboard 1120, and ceiling 2300 is sized to suitably overhang that side of floorboard 1120 and thus prevent that side of floorboard 1120 from lifting very far off of floor 2310.

Five-sided channel 1170 has a generally rectilinear generally G-shaped cross-section (i.e., a cross-section generally shaped like a boxed upper case letter G) as shown in FIG. 5. More particularly, panel 1150 defines channel 1170 with a generally planar generally rectilinear generally horizontal top surface or ceiling 2400, a generally planar generally rectilinear generally horizontal bottom surface or floor 2410, a generally planar generally rectilinear generally vertical major side surface or major sidewall 2420 extending between ceiling 2400 and floor 2410, a generally planar generally rectilinear generally vertical minor side surface or minor sidewall 2430 extending from floor 2410 toward ceiling 2400, and a generally planar generally rectilinear generally horizontal flange end surface 2440 extending from sidewall 2430. Panel 1150 further includes a generally planar generally rectilinear generally horizontal outer top surface 2450, a generally planar generally rectilinear generally vertical upper outer side surface 2460 extending from surface 2450 to ceiling 2400, a generally planar generally rectilinear generally horizontal outer bottom surface 2470, and a generally planar generally rectilinear generally vertical lower outer side surface 2480 extending from surface 2470 to surface 2440. Sidewall 2430, surface 2440, and surface 2480 define a lip or flange 2490. Ceiling 2400, floor 2410, sidewall 2420, sidewall 2430, and surface 2440 are sized and arranged to allow channel 1170 to receive tab 2130, tab 2140, tab 2150, and tab 2250 (of fastener 210). To this end, ceiling 2400 is spaced apart from surface 2450 by a distance 2500 that is about one-third as large as length 2230, floor 2410 is spaced apart from surface 2450 by a distance 2510 that is about 6% greater than length 2210, sidewall 2420 is spaced apart from surface 2460 by a distance 2520 that is greater than distance 2280, and sidewall 2430 is spaced apart from surface 2480 by a distance 2530 that is slightly less than distance 2200.

FIG. 6 shows an enlarged plan view of fastener 210—from the perspective of directional line 6-6 of FIG. 5. As at least partially discernable in FIG. 6, arm 2100 has a generally uniform overall width 2600, tab 2130 has a width 2610 about 30% as large as width 2600, tab 2140 has a width 2620 about 40% as large as width 2600, and tab 2150 has a width 2630 about equal to width 2610. Length 2210 and length 2230, among other things, are also at least partially discernable in FIG. 6.

For use, scaffold 100 is transported to or near a worksite in a partially/modularly disassembled or “broken down” state that facilitates transportation. In this state, guardrail 110, guardrail 310, guardrail 1710, guardrail 1810, floorboard 1120, ladder 1440, and ladder 1540 are disconnected from platform 1110.

At or near the worksite, a worker or workers first connect ladder 1440 and ladder 1540 to platform 1110 (as discussed above), such that truss 1130 is suspended between ladder 1440 and ladder 1540 (see, e.g., FIG. 1A and FIG. 2) at or near a desired work height above a floor or above the ground.

Next, the worker(s) lock caster 1640, caster 1650, caster 1660, and caster 1670.

Next, the worker(s) concurrently slide the two lateral sides of floorboard 1120 into channel 1160 of panel 1150 and the laterally opposing channel of panel 1180, respectively. Here, it should be appreciated that the worker(s) insert floorboard 1120 into the channels from the open end of truss 1130 (i.e., the end opposite panel 1140).

Next, the worker(s) pivot guardrail 310 toward guardrail 110 such that angle 2030 is about zero.

Next, with guardrail 310 pivoted toward guardrail 110 such that angle 2030 is about zero, the worker(s) position and hold guardrail 110 (and guardrail 310) such that forked clasp 2240 (of fastener 210) and the corresponding like forked clasp of fastener 220 are close to flange 2490 (of panel 1150) with post 150 and post 180 (and thus, fastener 210 and fastener 220 as well) slightly tilted away from platform 1110 (e.g., such that post 150 and post 180 are positioned and aligned in the vicinity of plane 2020). FIG. 7 shows a fragmentary perspective view of fastener 210 and panel 1150 at this point in the quick-connect operation.

Next, the worker(s) slide forked clasp 2240 (of fastener 210) partially around flange 2490 (of panel 1150) and concurrently slide the forked clasp of fastener 220 partially around flange 2490. FIG. 8 shows a fragmentary perspective view of fastener 210 and panel 1150 at this point in the quick-connect operation.

Next, the worker(s) upright guardrail 110 such that post 150 and post 180 are about vertical and rail 120 is about horizontal (e.g., as they are in FIG. 1A, FIG. 2, and FIG. 3), such that flange 2490 extends generally upwardly into forked clasp 2240 (of fastener 210) and generally upwardly into the forked clasp of fastener 220, such that tab 2130 and tab 2150 (and the corresponding like tabs of fastener 220) face and/or abut surface 2480 (of flange 2490), and such that tab 2140 (and the similar corresponding tab of fastener 220) faces or abuts sidewall 2430 (of flange 2490) as shown in FIG. 5. FIG. 9 shows a fragmentary perspective view of fastener 210 and panel 1150 at this point in the quick-connect operation.

Next, the worker(s) pivot guardrail 310 generally away from guardrail 110 such that angle 2030 is about 45 degrees. This allows guardrail 310 to stand independently.

Next, the worker(s) connect guardrail 1710 and guardrail 1810 to panel 1180 (of platform 1110) in a correspondingly similar manner as the above-discussed manner in which guardrail 110 and guardrail 310 were connected to panel 1150 (as they are in FIG. 1A, FIG. 2, FIG. 3, and FIG. 4).

Next, the worker(s) pivot one of guardrail 310 and guardrail 1810 fully closed (i.e., such that angle 2030 or angle 2040, respectively, is about 90 degrees), which couples guardrail 110 guardrail 310 to guardrail 1710 and guardrail 1810 such that they are substantially fixed in their upright positions (i.e., such that they do not tilt back away from platform 1110). Catch 410 releasably couples to the spring-loaded coupling pin of guardrail 1710 when the worker(s) fully close guardrail 310, and the corresponding catch of guardrail 1810 releasably couples to pin 230 when the worker(s) fully close guardrail 1810. FIG. 10 shows a fragmentary perspective view of the catch of guardrail 1810 releasably coupled to pin 230.

As at least partially discernable in FIG. 5, ceiling 2400 (of channel 1170) interferes with vertical travel of tab 2250 (of fastener 210) to inhibit guardrail 110 (and thus, to also inhibit guardrail 310, guardrail 1710, and guardrail 1810, which are coupled to guardrail 110) from undesirably disengaging from or “lifting off” flange 2490 (of platform 1110). The other corresponding like ceilings and tabs likewise inhibit guardrail 110, guardrail 310, guardrail 1710, and guardrail 1810 from lifting off platform 1110.

Next, the worker(s) may maneuver scaffold 100 via caster 1640, caster 1650, caster 1660, and caster 1670 in a conventional manner, may adjust the height of platform 1110 via assembly 1230 (of truss 1130) and apertures 1460 (of ladder 1440), assembly 1280 (of truss 1130) and apertures 1480 (of ladder 1440), assembly 1330 (of truss 1130) and apertures 1560 (of ladder 1450), and assembly 1380 (of truss 1130) and apertures 1580 (of ladder 1450), and the worker(s) pivot one of guardrail 310 and guardrail 1810 between open and closed positions to allow ingress and/or egress to platform 1110 as desired.

Additionally, the worker(s) may quickly partially/modularly disassemble or “break down” scaffold 100 by undoing or reversing the above-discussed steps.

The foregoing description of the guardrail scaffolding system is illustrative only, and is not intended to limit the scope of the disclosure to the precise terms set forth. Further, although the guardrail scaffolding system has been described in detail with reference to certain illustrative embodiments, variations and modifications exist within the scope and spirit of the invention as described and defined in the following claims.





 
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